August 22, 2007 - More Pennsylvania Voters Blame Lawmakers For Gridlock, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Support For Lease Of Turnpike Collapses

Word format

The legislative gridlock between Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and the State Legislature is more the fault of the lawmakers, 47 percent of voters say, while 21 percent blame the governor and 20 percent blame both equally, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Gov. Rendell gets a 53 - 37 percent approval rating, compared to his 55 - 36 percent approval in a May 30 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University. But voters disapprove 55 - 30 percent of the job the State Legislature is doing.

Pennsylvania voters oppose 47 - 40 percent Rendell's proposal to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private company while keeping state control over toll hikes and maintenance. Voters supported this proposal 49 - 41 percent in a March 28 Quinnipiac University poll and by a narrower 44 - 42 percent margin May 30.

In this latest survey, Democrats split 44 - 44 percent on the turnpike proposal while Republicans oppose it 49 - 40 percent and independent voters oppose it 50 - 38 percent.

"Voters overwhelmingly support Gov. Ed Rendell with his battle in Harrisburg with the State Legislature. Not only is his approval rating 23 points higher than the legislature's, but almost half the voters blame the legislature for the failure to reach agreement on a number of major issues this year while only 21 percent say it's the governor's fault," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"And despite the purge at the polls last fall of a significant number of lawmakers who voted for the aborted pay raise, only 16 percent say things have gotten better in the legislature."

Pennsylvania voters split 43 - 44 percent in their approval of Rendell's handling of the state budget. Voters disapprove 57 - 27 percent of the legislature's handling of the budget.

By a 43 - 35 percent margin, voters blame the legislature more than the Governor for the one-day layoff of state workers. Voters say 62 - 29 percent that the layoff was not necessary to force a budget agreement and by a 59 - 38 percent margin, voters agree that the workers should be paid for the one-day layoff.

In an open-ended question, where respondents can give any answer, 19 percent of Pennsylvania voters list taxes as the most important problem in the state, followed by 16 percent who cite the economy, 10 percent each for education and crime, 9 percent for healthcare and 8 percent who cite mass transit.

Since Rendell became Governor, the property tax situation in the state is worse, 39 percent of voters say, while 7 percent say it is better and 45 percent say it is the same. Of those who say property taxes are worse, 38 percent blame the Governor and 27 percent blame the Legislature.

"It's not all rosy for the Governor, he gets mixed marks for his handling of the state budget, and voters oppose his plan to pay for highway construction by leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike, something they supported in the past," Richards said.

"In one win for the State Legislature, voters give lawmakers more credit than the Governor, 42 - 34 percent, for passing a budget with no new taxes."

From August 14 - 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,160 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

24. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 53% 35% 67% 54% 52% 54% Disapprove 37 57 22 38 41 34 DK/NA 10 8 11 8 6 13

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 51% 76% 53% 74% 31% 40% 41% Disapprove 43 15 33 19 57 49 48 DK/NA 6 9 14 7 12 11 11

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling his job as Governor? (* Also 46% on 10/5/2005, 4/22/2004, 3/18/2004 and 12/16/2003)

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Aug 22  May 30  Mar 28  Feb 7   Aug 16  Feb 7   Apr 5
                        2007    2007    2007    2007    2006    2007    2006*


Approve 53 55 57 61 54 61 46 Disapprove 37 36 33 30 31 30 37 DK/NA 10 9 10 9 15 9 17



25. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 30% 32% 30% 28% 29% 31% Disapprove 55 50 55 63 58 53 DK/NA 15 18 14 9 14 16

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 27% 24% 29% 39% 31% 31% 28% Disapprove 62 56 58 43 57 57 58 DK/NA 11 21 14 18 12 12 14

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Aug 22  May 30  Mar 28  Feb 7   Aug 16  Apr 10  Oct 5
                        2007    2007    2007    2007    2006    2003    2005 


Approve 30 34 39 39 31 49 26 Disapprove 55 47 41 44 52 24 60 DK/NA 15 18 20 17 17 27 14



26. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Arlen Specter is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 58% 48% 65% 59% 55% 60% Disapprove 32 45 25 30 39 27 DK/NA 10 7 10 11 6 13

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 56% 67% 58% 67% 46% 58% 52% Disapprove 40 27 35 23 41 31 35 DK/NA 4 6 8 10 12 11 14

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Arlen Specter is handling his job as United States Senator? (* Also 60% on 5/22/2003 & 2/21/2003)

                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Aug 22  May 30  Mar 28  Feb 7   Aug 15  Jul 13  Apr 22
                        2007    2007    2007    2007    2006    2005*   2004


Approve 58 56 59 59 50 60 47 Disapprove 32 34 29 33 37 30 36 DK/NA 10 11 12 8 13 10 17



27. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 49% 37% 61% 48% 46% 53% Disapprove 23 36 15 19 26 20 DK/NA 28 27 24 33 28 28

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 51% 46% 58% 55% 38% 51% 45% Disapprove 25 23 16 15 34 20 26 DK/NA 24 30 26 29 28 30 28

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bob Casey Jr. is handling his job as United States Senator? (* Also 49% on 2/7/2007)
                                                        Highest Lowest
                                                        Approve Approve
                        Aug 22  May 30  Mar 28  Feb 7   Aug 22   Mar 28
                        2007    2007    2007    2007    2007 *   2007


Approve 49 47 46 49 49 46 Disapprove 23 21 18 19 23 18 DK/NA 28 32 35 32 28 35



29. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Pennsylvania today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Very satisfied 4% 3% 5% 4% 5% 3% Smwht satisfied 51 48 55 46 50 52 Smwht dissatisfied 31 36 26 34 30 32 Very dissatisfied 13 12 14 15 16 11 DK/NA 1 1 - 1 - 1

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Very satisfied 5% 1% 7% 6% 6% 0% 2% Smwht satisfied 37 55 56 65 36 48 50 Smwht dissatisfied 38 22 22 23 47 37 34 Very dissatisfied 20 21 15 5 11 12 14 DK/NA - 1 1 1 1 2 0

TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Pennsylvania today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?

                        Aug 22  May 12  Apr 5   Feb 13  Dec 8   Oct 5   Jul 14
                        2007    2006    2006    2006    2005    2005    2005


Very satisfied 4 5 4 4 4 4 4 Smwht satisfied 51 46 50 49 50 42 48 Smwht dissatisfied 31 28 29 30 33 33 32 Very dissatisifed 13 19 14 15 13 20 15 DK/NA 1 1 2 1 1 1 1



30. What do you think is the most important problem facing Pennsylvania today?

                        Tot 


Taxes Total 19% Taxes general 9 Property tax 9 Income Tax 1

Economy Total 16% Economy general 3 Unemployment/jobs 10 Cost of living 1 Business leaving/ Outsourcing 2

Crime Total 10% Crime/Violence general 7 Gangs/Youth crime 1 Drugs 1 Gun control 1

Education Total 10% Education general 6 Funding education 4

Healthcare Total 9% Healthcare/Costs/ Ins/HMO's 8 Medical malpractice 1

Mass Transit Total 8% Highway traffic/ congestion 1 Poor conditions roads/highways 5 Transportation other 2

Politicians Total 4% Politicians/ Campaigns general 1 Political corruption 1 Governor/State leadership 2

Budget Total 2% *Budget general 1 *Budget priorities 1

Casinos/Gambling 1 Environment/Pollution 1 Immigration 2 Lack of ethics/ Morality 1 Senior issues 1 Welfare 1 War (Iraq) 1

Other 2 DK/NA 7



TREND: What do you think is the most important problem facing Pennsylvania today?

                                    Aug 22  Feb 13  Jul 14  Feb 17  Feb 20  Jun 5
                                    2007    2006    2005    2005    2003    2002


Budget/Spending Total 2% 2% 3% 3% 4% - Budget general 1 1 1 1 3 - Budget cuts/Cuts in services - - - 1 - - Budget deficits - - - - 1 - Government too big/Gov spending - - 1 1 - - Budget priorities 1 1 1 - - -

Crime Total 10% 5% 3% 2% 2% 4% Crime/Violence general 7 4 2 1 1 2 Gangs/Youth crime 1 - - - - - Drugs 1 1 1 1 1 2 Gun Control 1 - - - - - Economy Total 16% 27% 25% 29% 33% 25% Economy general 3 4 3 2 7 3 Unemployment/jobs 10 19 18 24 24 20 Minimum wage too low - 2 1 1 - - Cost of living 1 - 1 - - - Businesses leaving/Outsourcing 2 2 2 2 1 - Economy other - - - - 1 2

Education Total 10% 5% 9% 8% 10% 20% Education general 6 3 4 5 7 16 Teachers - - - - 1 - Funding education 4 2 5 3 1 1 Education other - - - - 1 3

Healthcare Total 9% 9% 6% 7% 13% 5% Healthcare/Costs/Insurance/HMO's 8 6 4 4 7 4 Medical malpractice 1 1 1 1 4 - Medicare - 1 1 1 1 - Prescription costs - 1 - 1 1 1

Politicians/Campaigns Total 4% 6% 4% 4% 2% 1% Politicians/Campaigns general 1 2 1 2 2 1 Political corruption 1 1 1 1 - - Bush administration - - 1 - - - Governor/State leadership 2 3 1 1 - -

Taxes Total 19% 20% 17% 15% 13% 10 Taxes general 9 10 8 9 8 7 Property tax 9 10 7 6 3 2 Income Tax 1 - 1 - - - Taxes other - - 1 - 2 1

Mass Transit Total 8% 1% 2% 4% - 3% Better mass trans/Public trans - - 1 2 - - Highway traffic/congestion 1 - - - - - Poor condition of roads/highways 5 1 1 1 - 3 Transportation other 2 - - 1 - -

Other 2 5 4 6 2 6 DK/NA 7 8 10 9 8 11



31. Governor Rendell can not run for a third term. When Democratic Governor Rendell's term ends in 2010, would you like to see Pennsylvania elect a - Republican governor or a Democratic governor in 2010?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Republican governor 27% 67% 4% 18% 32% 23% Democratic governor 37 4 73 22 34 41 DK/NA 36 29 22 60 35 36

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Republican governor 20% 10% 17% 21% 32% 28% 43% Democratic governor 41 60 38 40 37 36 25 DK/NA 39 30 44 39 31 36 32



32. Following last year's legislative pay raise controversy a significant number of legislators were defeated in the 2006 elections. As a result, do you think the legislature is better, worse or about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Better 16% 13% 17% 18% 18% 14% Worse 8 9 7 7 8 7 The same 71 70 72 71 69 72 DK/NA 5 8 4 4 4 7

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Better 18% 6% 19% 20% 13% 16% 17% Worse 8 10 6 2 14 13 7 The same 73 81 70 70 71 64 69 DK/NA 1 3 5 8 2 7 7



33. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell handled the state budget?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 43% 29% 55% 43% 41% 45% Disapprove 44 61 33 41 47 42 DK/NA 12 10 12 16 11 14

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 40% 72% 38% 66% 27% 25% 32% Disapprove 47 14 48 21 65 62 57 DK/NA 13 14 14 13 8 14 11

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Ed Rendell is handling the state budget? (* ..."handled" the state budget?)

                        Aug 22  Apr 5   Jul 13  Apr 22  Oct 16  Aug 6   May 23
                        2007*   2006    2004    2004    2003    2003    2003


Approve 43 35 45 31 39 42 38 Disapprove 44 45 38 43 41 40 44 DK/NA 12 19 17 26 20 18 18



34. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the state legislature handled the state budget?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Approve 27% 28% 30% 21% 26% 27% Disapprove 57 53 57 62 61 54 DK/NA 16 19 13 17 13 19

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Approve 24% 34% 28% 33% 19% 22% 24% Disapprove 62 49 55 49 64 66 60 DK/NA 13 18 18 18 17 12 16

TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the State Legislature's handling of the state budget? (* . . . how the state legislature handled . . .)

                        Aug 22  Oct 16  Aug 6
                        2007*    2003    2003 


Approve 27 29 27 Disapprove 57 47 50 DK/NA 16 24 2



35. The recently completed legislative session was marked by sharp disputes between Governor Rendell and the legislature, especially Republicans in the legislature. As a result a number of key issues were left unresolved. Do you think this is mostly the fault of the Governor or mostly the fault of the Legislature?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Governor 21% 36% 15% 15% 25% 18% Legislature 47 28 60 50 47 46 BOTH(VOL) 20 20 15 24 18 21 DK/NA 12 16 10 11 10 14

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Governor 18% 15% 19% 18% 28% 18% 30% Legislature 53 61 43 54 33 44 40 BOTH(VOL) 18 11 21 18 26 23 21 DK/NA 11 14 17 10 14 16 10



36. As you may know Governor Rendell furloughed 24,000 "non-essential" state workers for one day because the state budget had not been approved by the July 1 deadline, and he said there was no progress toward a settlement. Who do you blame for the one day furlough of state workers - the Governor or the Legislature?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Governor 35% 50% 27% 31% 39% 32% Legislature 43 30 53 43 42 44 BOTH(VOL) 15 12 14 20 14 17 DK/NA 7 8 6 6 6 8

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Governor 37% 22% 32% 22% 51% 38% 44% Legislature 45 53 45 57 31 31 35 BOTH(VOL) 12 16 18 15 15 21 14 DK/NA 7 8 5 6 3 9 7



37. Do you think the furlough was necessary to put on pressure to reach a budget agreement or do you think a budget agreement could have been reached without the furlough?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Necessary 29% 20% 35% 32% 27% 30% Not necessary 62 70 57 60 66 59 DK/NA 9 10 9 8 7 11

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Necessary 23% 38% 29% 41% 18% 18% 26% Not necessary 70 55 63 45 79 71 65 DK/NA 7 7 8 14 3 11 9



38. Governor Rendell has announced the 24,000 state workers furloughed for a day during the budget deadlock will be paid for that day at a cost of $3.5 million dollars even though they did not work. Do you agree or disagree that they should be paid?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Agree 59% 54% 65% 55% 58% 60% Disagree 38 41 33 43 40 36 DK/NA 3 5 2 2 2 4

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Agree 53% 62% 56% 67% 53% 51% 61% Disagree 45 34 42 30 47 44 36 DK/NA 2 4 2 4 - 6 4



39. The new budget contained no new taxes. Who do you give credit for no new taxes in the state budget - the Governor or the Legislature?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Governor 34% 21% 48% 27% 30% 38% Legislature 42 60 29 44 47 37 (VOL) BOTH 9 7 8 12 9 10 DK/NA 15 12 15 18 15 16

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Governor 26% 59% 41% 36% 25% 30% 27% Legislature 46 24 36 39 56 42 46 (VOL) BOTH 13 7 8 9 6 7 11 DK/NA 15 10 15 15 13 21 16



40. Since Ed Rendell became Governor do you think the tax situation in Pennsylvania has gotten better, worse, or stayed about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Better 9% 7% 14% 6% 6% 12% Worse 28 41 19 27 30 27 The same 58 47 63 62 60 56 DK/NA 4 5 3 4 3 5

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Better 2% 23% 10% 7% 9% 5% 10% Worse 23 14 29 17 42 38 36 The same 70 61 61 68 48 54 48 DK/NA 5 2 1 8 1 3 5

TREND: Since Ed Rendell became Governor do you think the tax situation in Pennsylvania has gotten better, worse, or stayed about the same?

                        Aug 22  Jul 14
                        2007    2005


Better 9 4 Worse 28 47 Same 58 44 DK/NA 4 5



41. Since Ed Rendell became Governor do you think the property tax situation in Pennsylvania has gotten better, worse, or stayed about the same?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Better 7% 5% 11% 4% 7% 7% Worse 39 53 29 40 42 37 The same 45 34 50 49 45 45 DK/NA 9 8 10 6 6 11

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Better 10% 14% 4% 6% 6% 6% 5% Worse 30 29 51 31 46 45 45 The same 54 44 39 55 44 42 39 DK/NA 6 12 6 8 5 7 12



42a. (If "worse" q41) Who do you blame for the property tax situation in Pennsylvania getting worse Governor Rendell or the state legislature? (*Additional caution should be taken when interpreting the findings of this subgroup because of the larger margin of error.)

                        WORSE Q41
                        Tot(n=68)


Governor 38% Legislature 27 BOTH EQUAL(VOL) 25 DK/NA 10



42b. (If "better" q41) Who do you credit for the property tax situation in Pennsylvania getting better Governor Rendell or the state legislature?

                        BETTER Q41.................................
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Governor 69% 50% 74% 78% 64% 73% Legislature 16 18 13 15 10 21 BOTH EQUAL(VOL) 6 11 4 6 7 5 DK/NA 10 20 9 - 18 1



43. Governor Rendell has proposed leasing the Pennsylvania turnpike to a private company, but keeping state control over toll increases and maintenance schedules. The money would be used to pay for highway and bridge construction. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom


Support 40% 40% 44% 38% 36% 43% Oppose 47 49 44 50 54 42 DK/NA 12 11 13 12 10 14

Alghny Philly NthEst SthEst NthWst SthWst Cntrl

Support 38% 52% 41% 40% 41% 33% 39% Oppose 51 38 51 42 48 53 50 DK/NA 11 11 8 18 10 14 12

TREND: Governor Rendell has proposed leasing the Pennsylvania turnpike to a private company, but keeping state control over toll increases and maintenance schedules.The money would be used to pay for highway and bridge construction. Do you support or oppose this proposal?

                        Aug 22  May 30  Mar 28
                        2007    2007    2007


Support 40 44 49 Oppose 47 42 41 DK/NA 12 14 10